I’ve never been very good at expressing sentiments, but I think this is an appropriate situation to try. I have spent the last four months in the beautiful country of New Zealand, and as final exams come to an end, so does my time here. With this is mind, I would like to thank the people I have come to know this semester.
Since the plane touched down on New Zealand soil, I have had the support of my American friends Melissa, Erika, Claire, and Ariel, who remind me of home when I really need it. I didn’t know any of them before coming here, but especially during the beginning we stuck together like the best of friends. We may all have gone slightly different paths since then, but even just a couple weeks ago we were still traveling the country together, and I don’t think there is anything cooler than that. Thanks guys, you’ve been awesome. Also, thanks to my RA Faya, who checked on me usually once a day. It was a relief to know that someone would notice if something happened to me. Also, thanks Faya for helping me with my lab report, that was way above and beyond the call of duty and I really appreciate it.
The great thing about small class sizes is how personal it is. Through the semester I was able to get to know my Spanish preparedness group fairly well, and it made learning Spanish more fun than I’ve ever known it to be. Even beyond studying in the library, there was the Spanish movie nights, the incredibly awesome trip to the Pohangina glow worms, and the lunch trip in town after our final when we realized that our time together was at its end. You guys are all incredibly compassionate, and I will miss spending time with you. Thank you for not making fun of my American accent when I attempt to Spanish.
Early on, I bought a brick phone that promptly broke. I had no idea that that particular misfortune would end in a great friendship. Thank you, Caitlin, for not only lending me your old smarty phone for the semester, but also making food with me, letting me crash at your place, swapping edits of essays with me, and just being my friend. I don’t think you know how much it meant to me to have a friend at that point, and how much it continues to mean to me.
I’ve been away from home for extended periods of time before, but it was especially difficult knowing I was unable to go home. So seeing my mom for the first time in over a month when she came down during mid semester break and traveling together for two and a half weeks was almost a little bit healing. There is also no one else better to travel with than my momma, so thanks for visiting me momma, and I had a lot of fun being your navigator. Can’t wait to see you in a week.
Life in New Zealand was not all big trips across the country, but small adventures as well. Only a few miles outside Palmy is the Manawatu Gorge, and I had the opportunity to tramp there not once, but twice. Both were a unique experience, first with my American friends, then with one of my Genetics friends and her friends. Shannon, it was awesome getting to know you. You are a very kind soul and brilliant at Genetics, and yes, that is said with a little jealousy. Thanks for not only tramping with me, but also studying with me as well.
New Zealand has turned out to be more than a place, but filled with a variety of people who are so beautiful and kind in different ways, all helping me to let go of my homesickness and truly enjoy where I am. So I guess its that time to leave this country and take back with me all these memories and experiences.
Goodbye, New Zealand